Monday, January 31, 2011

Bond composer John Barry dies aged 77

Composer John Barry, famous for his work on Born Free, Out of Africa and the James Bond films, has died in New York of a heart attack aged 77.

Born John Barry Prendergast in 1933, the York-born musician first found fame as leader of the John Barry Seven.

His arrangement of Monty Norman's James Bond theme led to him composing scores for 11 films in the series, among them Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

His work saw him win five Oscars, while he received a Bafta fellowship in 2005.

His most recent film score featured in the 2001 war thriller Enigma, while a musical version of Brighton Rock, created with lyricist Don Black, had its London premiere in 2004.

Black, who worked with the composer on his Born Free, Thunderball and Diamonds are Forever theme songs, said Barry remained unaffected by his international success.


· From Russia With Love
· Goldfinger
· Zulu
· Born Free
· You Only Live Twice
· The Lion in Winter
· Midnight Cowboy
· Diamonds are Forever
· Somewhere in Time
· Out of Africa
· Dances with Wolves
· Chaplin

Awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to music, Barry was renowned for his lush strings, orchestral swells and elegant melodies.
His work found a new audience when Robbie Williams featured music from You Only Live Twice on his 1998 hit single Millennium.

Barry's first Oscars came in 1967 for his Born Free score and its iconic title theme.
More Academy Awards followed for the soundtracks he wrote for The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves.

Barry also won four Grammys, a Bafta for The Lion in Winter and a Golden Globe for Out of Africa.

Barry, who lived in Oyster Bay, Long Island, is survived by Laurie, his wife of 33 years, his four children and five grandchildren.
Copyright BBC News